Stitched, 2021

Personal Work

6 in x 6 in
Canvas, thread, flowers, African fabric

Stitched: “Wholeness can come from brokenness.”

Stitched is a series that focuses on trauma, womanhood, motherhood and birth. Black women dating back to the 1700s have experienced sexual abuse and trauma around rights to their bodies, sexuality, reproduction, and their children. Slave women were seen as valuable only if they were fertile and if masters were able to maximize their fertility. Black women were victims of slave breeding, rape, sexual exploitation, child loss, unlawful deaths, and lack of prenatal and postpartum care. Black women in America today are among one of the most unprotected and unrepresented. It is said that Black women are three times as more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than White women. As well as 1 in 4 Black girls will be sexually abused before the age of 18.

Stitched represents the healing process of oneself and was inspired by my own personal trauma, birth, and ancestry. The red thread represents the blood shed by every woman and the stitching up the vagina speaks to the process of patching up one’s wound. It is said that your new skin and tissue is about 80% as strong as it was before it was injured. We are stronger than our pasts, stronger than the traumas and fears that hold onto us. We can rebuild, grow, and blossom into something beautiful. It’s time to take back our bodies, protect our bodies, and use our experiences to empower the next generations of women coming up behind us. Each canvas is paired with a letter and a promise to other women reading it that there is a light.